USTL provides full scholarships to outstanding students from Timor-Leste for four years of study at high-quality undergraduate degree institutions in the United States. Scholarship awards include full tuition for four years of undergraduate study, travel, living stipends, medical insurance in the U.S., and visa costs. USTL is a program of the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA), U.S. Department of State.

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Welcome to the United States

Posted on: 28 July 2016 BY: LDe

Adaptation has always been an issue for most international students who ever attended a university in the states. We ordinarily experience shock, when observing things are done differently from ours and how they are practiced differently. What are they? Those are the cultures and practices which you will meet in your soon to be home. Adaptation doesn't solely mean to get yourself used to the weather, but the most challenging as an international student is how to live the circumstance and subordinate yourself into it. I urge to not to be an introvert, because you could place yourself into trouble. In fact, most Timorese are extremely extroverted, which is great but quite challenging to get yourself beside an American, because mostly they are introverted. Well, now I see you get confused by my statement. However, my advice is to keep yourself in the middle, however, do not waste your time whenever you have the chance to be expressive and to socialize with other people.

My personal experience as a Timorese at the University of Minnesota is quite rough at first. Though, it was not my first time in the U.S. but I still needed time to adapt. Staying together with a roommate could both be a headache and relief, because you need to be more tolerant, as well as him/her towards you. Though, you shouldn't take it as dead end to your journey, because that how they are, and you as newcomer get to learn from this. I made myself comfort by looking for counseling from the ISSS, the international student body that assists the international students in their transition to the U. Also, there is IBP - International Buddies Program, which was designed to help students familiarize themselves with the U.S. and the U's culture. I made a lot of friends in the program and me who was a mentee now becoming a mentor in this coming fall.

Class environment is very friendly, but managing your time effectively s highly encouraged. Language could be a shortcoming for you especially in writing papers, but the U always has writing center to help you. Moreover, you will never get discriminated by how you speak, so do not get embarrassed if your language skills are not perfect. In order to be successful, you can schedule meeting with your advisors to keep track of your progress, and to get advice about what classes you should take in your freshman year.

Most important is, do not think yourself inferior because you are from such a tiny and hardly known country like Timor, because you can shine brighter than others. Good luck with your studies, enjoy your time in the U.S. and let's catch up.